Molecular Gas in Infrared Ultraluminous QSO Hosts

The Astrophysical Journal (Impact Factor: 6.28). 02/2012; 750(2). DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/750/2/92
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT We report CO detections in 17 out of 19 infrared ultraluminous QSO (IR QSO)
hosts observed with the IRAM 30m telescope. The cold molecular gas reservoir in
these objects is in a range of 0.2--2.1$\times 10^{10}M_\odot$ (adopting a
CO-to-${\rm H_2}$ conversion factor $\alpha_{\rm CO}=0.8 M_\odot {\rm (K km
s^{-1} pc^2)^{-1}}$). We find that the molecular gas properties of IR QSOs,
such as the molecular gas mass, star formation efficiency ($L_{\rm
FIR}/L^\prime_{\rm CO}$) and the CO (1-0) line widths, are indistinguishable
from those of local ultraluminous infrared galaxies (ULIRGs). A comparison of
low- and high-redshift CO detected QSOs reveals a tight correlation between
L$_{\rm FIR}$ and $L^\prime_{\rm CO(1-0)}$ for all QSOs. This suggests that,
similar to ULIRGs, the far-infrared emissions of all QSOs are mainly from dust
heated by star formation rather than by active galactic nuclei (AGNs),
confirming similar findings from mid-infrared spectroscopic observations by
{\it Spitzer}. A correlation between the AGN-associated bolometric luminosities
and the CO line luminosities suggests that star formation and AGNs draw from
the same reservoir of gas and there is a link between star formation on $\sim$
kpc scale and the central black hole accretion process on much smaller scales.


Available from: C. N. Hao, Jun 10, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We present new results of CO(1-0) spectroscopic observations of 4 SDSS type 2 quasars (QSO2) at z$\sim$0.3, observed with the 30m IRAM telescope. The QSO2 have infrared luminosities in the ULIRG (UltraLuminous Infrared Galaxies) regime. We confirm the CO(1-0) detection in one of our 4 QSO2, SDSS J1543-00, with $L'_{CO}$ and $M_{H_2}$ (1.2$\pm$0.2) $\times$10$^{10}$ K km s$^{-1}$ pc$^2$ and (9.4$\pm$1.4)$\times$10$^9$ M$_{\odot}$, respectively. The CO(1-0) line has $FWHM=$575$\pm$102 km s$^{-1}$. No CO(1-0) emission is detected in SDSS J0903+02, SDSS J1337-01, SDSS J1520-01 above 3 sigma, yielding upper limits on $M(H_2)\sim$ 9.6, 4.3 and 5.1 $\times$10$^9$ M$_{\odot}$ respectively. Together with CO measurements of 9 QSO2 at $z\sim$0.3-1.0 from the ULIRG sample by Combes et al. (2011, 2013), we expand previous studies of the molecular gas content of intermediate $z$ QSO2 into the ULIRG regime. We discuss the location of the 13 ULIRG QSO2 at $z<$1 with available $L'_{CO}$ measurements in the $L'_{CO}$ vs. $z$ and $L'_{CO}$ vs. $L_{FIR}$ diagrams, in comparison with other QSO1 and ULIRG star forming samples.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 03/2014; 565. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201323004 · 4.48 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: An analysis of 44 GHz VLA observations of the z = 1.574 radio-loud quasar 3C318 has revealed emission from the redshifted J = 1 - 0 transition of the CO molecule and spatially resolved the 6.3 kpc radio jet associated with the quasar at 115 GHz rest-frame. The continuum-subtracted line emitter is spatially offset from the quasar nucleus by 0.33" (2.82 kpc in projection). This spatial offset has a significance of >8-sigma and, together with a previously published -400 km/s velocity offset measured in the J = 2 - 1 CO line relative to the systemic redshift of the quasar, rules out a circumnuclear starburst or molecular gas ring and suggests that the quasar host galaxy is either undergoing a major merger with a gas-rich galaxy or is otherwise a highly disrupted system. If the merger scenario is correct then the event may be in its early stages, acting as the trigger for both the young radio jets in the quasar and a starburst in the merging galaxy. The total molecular gas mass in the spatially offset line emitter as measured from the ground-state CO line M_H2 = 3.7 (+/-0.4) x 10^10 (alpha_CO/0.8) M_solar. Assuming that the line-emitter can be modelled as a rotating disk, an inclination-dependent upper limit is derived for its dynamical mass M_dyn sin^2(i) < 3.2 x 10^9 M_solar, suggesting that for M_H2 to remain less than M_dyn the inclination angle must be i < 16 degrees. The far infrared and CO luminosities of 246 extragalactic systems are collated from the literature for comparison. The high molecular gas content of 3C318 is consistent with that of the general population of high redshift quasars and sub-millimetre galaxies.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 08/2013; 435(4). DOI:10.1093/mnras/stt1530 · 5.23 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BL Lacertae (Lac) objects that are detected at very-high energies (VHE) are of fundamental importance to study multiple astrophysical processes, including the physics of jets, the properties of the extragalactic background light and the strength of the intergalactic magnetic field. Unfortunately, since most blazars have featureless optical spectra that preclude a redshift determination, a substantial fraction of these VHE extragalactic sources cannot be used for cosmological studies. To assess whether molecular lines are a viable way to establish distances, we have undertaken a pilot program at the IRAM 30m telescope to search for CO lines in three BL Lac objects with known redshifts. We report a positive detection of M_H2 ~ 3x10^8 Msun toward 1ES 1959+650, but due to the poor quality of the baseline, this value is affected by a large systematic uncertainty. For the remaining two sources, W Comae and RGB J0710+591, we derive 3sigma upper limits at, respectively, M_H2 < 8.0x10^8 Msun and M_H2 < 1.6x10^9 Msun, assuming a line width of 150 km/s and a standard conversion factor alpha=4 M_sun/(K km/s pc^2). If these low molecular gas masses are typical for blazars, blind redshift searches in molecular lines are currently unfeasible. However, deep observations are still a promising way to obtain precise redshifts for sources whose approximate distances are known via indirect methods. Our observations further reveal a deficiency of molecular gas in BL Lac objects compared to quasars, suggesting that the host galaxies of these two types of active galactic nuclei (AGN) are not drawn from the same parent population. Future observations are needed to assess whether this discrepancy is statistically significant, but our pilot program shows how studies of the interstellar medium in AGN can provide key information to explore the connection between the active nuclei and the host galaxies.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 05/2012; 424(3). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21391.x · 5.23 Impact Factor